Members of Edmonton city council (and employees within city administration) shouldn’t be allowed to roam free. They should be sitting in closed departments of psychiatric asylums.
Yes. The lot of them.
It snowed in Edmonton a week or two ago, and most neighbourhood roads are still impassable. The city makes huge announcements about neighbourhood blading, but guess what: most of the roads are still impassable.
Of course, a snowfall in Edmonton is such a rare occurrence, no wonder the city has been caught (again) with its pants down.
It is perfectly strange that a city of comparable size and climate (Winnipeg comes to mind) can have all of its roads AND sidewalks cleaned within 24 hours. It is even stranger that a city much bigger in size (Montreal comes to mind) can have its roads AND sidewalks cleaned within 24 hours.
In fairness, let’s not include Toronto in this equation. The place where the Earth will be getting its suppositories if and when it needs them, demands that the federal government sends in the army to clean up a few snowflakes. And let’s not include Vancouver, either. That’s the place whose city council is busy with social engineering so much it orders that from now on, there ought to be no doorknobs on newly built doors, just plain handles.
The city of Edmonton seems to be following in the footsteps of those two lousy invalids. In a social engineering fit, it busies itself in trying to force taxpayer-supported housing for the homeless on neighbourhoods that would have none of that. It spends our money (your money and mine) on creating bicycle lanes where nobody needs them, endangering pedestrians and traffic in the process. And it wastes untold millions of dollars that belongs to you and me on a professional hockey team’s new arena. Not one shovel has hit the ground yet, and we’ve spent close to $100 million. (You don’t believe it? Just add up all of the expenses already on the books: from lawyer fees to trips to New York, to time spent by city employees working on the file while they could be doing something much more useful. And that’s just expenses calculated at first blush. Never mind buying properties in the area.)
These were only a few examples, by the way. The list seems to be growing day by day.
Newly-elected mayor Don Iveson, answering the calls of enraged population that the city make it its responsibility to clean all roadways (and nobody mentioned sidewalks, not even in passing), says that would double the budget.
First and foremost: a community’s budget should reflect that community’s overall situation. Meaning: heavy snowfalls are a rule in Edmonton, not an exception. Logically, snow removal budgets should reflect that.
There have even been hints that municipal taxes are bound to go up; some have been mentioning increases in the five-per-cent range. The stated reason: the city is responsible for running recreation centres, and that costs money. First of all, that would be money that could have been saved elsewhere. And secondly, and just as importantly, a brief walk through the city’s recreation centres reveals that a huge number of available rooms sits empty. Why? Because the fees to rent them are way too high. Has anyone thought of the innovative idea of lowering the fees, thus making those rooms affordable? It would bring in some revenue; in fact, it could bring in more revenue than originally anticipated. If local groups can afford those rooms, they will be using them from dawn to dusk and beyond. In any case, some revenue is much better than no revenue at all.
If you go through whatever our city administration has been handling in the last few years, you’ll notice that things keep getting more complicated and, consequently, more expensive.
To put it bluntly: successive city councils have been spending our money (your money and mine) like drunken sailors on shore leave. And yet, we keep voting this kind of crowd in.
Pity the city employees who handle the 311 calls. They must have suffered incredible abuse lately, because of the impassable roads. They are not to blame, but they represent the city and the citizens take their frustrations out on them.
The citizens ought to be ashamed of themselves, in the first place. It’s the citizens who keep voting this crowd of irresponsible individuals in.
There should be one single question asked of all candidates: how do you propose to spend our money if we elect you? And no platitudes about spending responsibly and other such drivel. No, be specific: how would your budget proposal look? We want details. If you can’t provide them, no need to apply. And if your proposed budget happens to be strong on social engineering and weak on things that matter most, such as every road passable within 24 hours of a snowfall, no need to apply, either.
There happens to be a group in this city, and a pretty vocal group, at that, that would start yelling that keeping our roads safe shouldn’t be a priority. A vision, they say, that’s what the priority should be. A vision, say, such as spending more than a half of a million dollars on something that claims to be art, putting it right by the entrance to a bridge, that is, at a spot where drivers can’t even slow down to have a look at (never mind enjoy) this ugly contraption.
So, here’s a vision for you: a city where it is safe to live, safe to move from place to place, a city whose council treats taxpayers’ money like money that belongs to the taxpayers, not to council and its special interests.
Now, if that were to happen, we would live in paradise, snowfall or not.
It’s in our hands: if we all go to vote next time around and make sure these rascals don’t get in.